Two Treasure Valley drownings Sunday prompted public safety officials to urge caution while enjoying water recreation in this hot weather.
A Nampa teenager drowned while swimming in an Owyhee County pond, and a 5-year-old Boise boy was swept away while trying to cross the Middle Fork of the Boise River with an adult.
Coen Hendrix lost his footing and was swept under by the river current Sunday afternoon, the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office reports. The adult he was with recovered the boy downriver and performed CPR with the help of bystanders, officials said.
The 5-year-old was taken to the St. Luke’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in Boise, where he was pronounced dead at 12:05 a.m. Monday. The Ada County Coroner’s Office reported the death late Monday afternoon after completing an autopsy that determined the death was caused by accidental drowning.
The accident happened in the area of Roaring River and Middle Fork roads.
Also on Sunday afternoon, 19-year-old Cainen Bryan Johnson, of Nampa, was swimming in Marsing’s Claytonia Pond when he began to struggle and called for help, officials said. When a friend swam to help, Johnson reportedly began to pull him under the water’s surface. The friend broke free and swam to the shore, calling Owyhee County dispatchers at 3:29 p.m., according to the Owyhee County Sheriff’s Office.
A bystander swam out to the spot where Johnson had struggled and waited in the water until authorities arrived. Owyhee sheriff’s deputies and divers, a Marsing ambulance, Canyon County marine deputies and Nampa divers responded to the incident.
Johnson’s body was in the water for an hour before it was located by a Nampa diver.
“When we got him to the surface there was no pulse,” said Lynn Bowman, chief deputy with the Owyhee County Sheriff’s Office. “We did not do CPR because he had been in the water for such an extended period of time.”
Johnson was found 70 to 100 feet from the shore on the southeast side of the pond. The pond is estimated to be about 25 feet deep, Bowman said.
The Owyhee County Coroner’s Office is looking into Johnson’s death.
Fatal incidents at Claytonia Pond are rare, said Bowman, who thought the last such incident happened at least 16 or 17 years ago. Statesman archives show Jerrod Jensen, 14, of Marsing, drowned in the pond in 1997.